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Xiaomi Misses Smartphone Sales Target by 10% on China Slowdown

  • Chinese startup will do more work on robotics, virtual reality
  • Founder Lei Jun wants to recapture `fun times' of early days

Xiaomi Corp. sold more than 70 million smartphones last year, falling well short of its target and prompting founder Lei Jun to tell employees he was refocusing research efforts into “cool stuff” like robotics and virtual reality.

The Chinese startup had a stated goal of selling 80 million devices. Xiaomi originally predicted selling 100 million units, but then changed that after China set its lowest growth target in 15 years and copycat vendors started taking away market share. The miss was a blow to company morale, Lei said in an e-mail to employees.